Of all the high school football games that will take place in Northeast Ohio this weekend, two stick out. Two games, two rivalries, both sold out.
Tonight, Berea and Midpark match up at George Finnie Stadium for the Battle for the Grindstone. This is the rivalry that Jim Tressel, a Berea grad, called bigger than Ohio State-Michigan when he spoke at a Berea High event.
The two teams share not only a stadium, but a school district as well. Both sides want the Grindstone trophy and to be the best team from the Berea City School District. This year is different, though. The importance is bigger. This will be the last game before the schools merge next year. The Braves and the Meteors will fade into history, to the chagrin of students and alumni, as they become the Titans.
Yes, the Titans. Like the movie. I eagerly wait to see whether the two sides will get through their early division and struggles en route to a state championship.
Midpark currently holds a 25-24 lead in the series.
Another rivalry sees its 50th game this weekend. And that’s the game taking center stage.
Cleveland’s Holy War.
Both teams are comfortably in the post-season and expected to go far. A loss won’t hurt either team’s playoff situation. But the pride involved is too important. The game, of late, shows who is best in Northeast Ohio, if not the whole state. The past two championships have gone to Ed’s and Ignatius respectively.
Bragging rights are on the line this chilly October weekend, and it should be lots of fun. Good luck to all teams involved.